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What sectors use the most natural gas?

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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The shale boom has been a big force in the energy industry in the United States. Not only has it had a significant impact on the country’s economy, it has managed to touch all of the energy sectors.

In 2013, the United States consumed just over 97 quadrillion british thermal units (BTUs) of primary energy. Just over one-quarter (27%) of this energy came from natural gas. This energy is used across all of the sectors – transportation (3% of total natural gas consumption), industry (34%), residential and commercial buildings (32%), and electric power (31%).

While the transportation sector uses the least amount of natural gas, it is also worth noting that the shale boom has also led to a boom in oil production. The United States is now the world’s top oil producer, overtaking both Saudi Arabia and Russia, as was predicted last year by the International Energy Agency.

Graphic from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Melissa C. Lott About the Author: An engineer and researcher who works at the intersection of energy, environment, technology, and policy. Follow on Twitter @mclott.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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